The Lone Star Tick is Travelling Up North, Affecting Residents Of Olney, MD
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Olney Boys and Girls Club, which offers training and sports recreation activities for the young people in the community. We applaud this non-profit organization and hope to see more youth come through this program that provides all kinds of sports ranging from baseball to lacrosse to wrestling! One company that has supported the Boys and Girls Club is Dr. Pepper, which, fun fact, was invented in Texas, also known as the Lone Star State.
Speaking of Lone Star, did you know that the lone star tick is a pest that’s been making its way north due to climate change, leaving sickness in its path? Just last week, CNN released an article with information from the New England Journal of Medicine that went into detail on this phenomenon.
The lone star tick, a tick distinguished by a white dot — a “lone star” — on the back of the female of the species, had been commonly found in the South. Global warming has made more regions tick-friendly. Now it also lives in the Upper Midwest, in the Northeast, and has even moved into eastern Canada. Read more at CNN…
We talked about this tick, known scientifically as Amblyomma americanum, a couple of years ago when we mentioned how it can cause red meat allergies in its victims. It also goes by the name “turkey tick” – I hope you have no more thanksgiving leftovers by the way.
The lone star tick, also known as the northeastern water tick, is not a jumper like most of its “cousins.” Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist, explains how it moves about.
” ‘Aggressive’ is a weird word to use with ticks, but they actually chase you and are very different from our wimpy black-legged ticks, the ones that have brought us Lyme disease. Those are slow, deliberate crawlers, who would have a hard time making it across my desk in half a day,” Ostfeld said. “Lone star ticks can detect you and they basically run after you. They are really upsetting. It feels like they are hunting you. (CNN)
So these ticks are like snail-Ninja insects that have sensors that detect you and then they slowly but surely make their way to you, inflicting a painless bite. You may not even notice they’re there! Terrifyingly, they can remain attached to their host for up to a week until fully engorged!
Other than developing a red meat allergy and being a drink (blood) dispensing machine for these ticks, what else could happen to you? One positive is that this particular tick does NOT carry the infamous Lyme disease. But that doesn’t make it any less infectious.
But they do carry the bacteria that causes southern tick-associated rash illness, or STARI, a rash similar to Lyme disease that also comes with fever, fatigue, headache and muscle pains. While doctors know to watch for Lyme disease, STARI has been less common and is often misdiagnosed, the report said. The lone star ticks also cause tularemia, known as rabbit or deer fly fever, a rare infectious disease that attacks the skin, lymph nodes and eyes; ehrlichiosis, a bacterial infection that can cause flu-like symptoms; Heartland virus disease, a virus that can also cause flu-like symptoms and often leads to hospitalization or even death; and alpha-gal syndrome, also known as red meat allergy. (CNN)
So this turkey tick can cause anything from a red meat allergy to flu-like symptoms, to skin and eye diseases, and even death. Just like the state this tick shares its name with is known for having everything bigger, you can expect big problems from this tick, despite its diminutive size and speed.
How can you avoid getting bitten by this tick? Use insect repellant, wear long sleeves and pants, and tuck your socks in your pants when outside. Remember too to check yourself, kids and pets after being outdoors to reduce the chances of being a host to the lone star tick. Also, get your yard sprayed with an organic tick-eliminating solution by our expert techs at Backyard Bug Patrol. Call us today!